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Bikini Atoll (Marshall Islands)

Ralik Islands

Last modified: 2013-07-27 by ian macdonald
Keywords: bikini | men otemjej | rej ilo bein anij |
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[Bikini Atoll] image by António Martins

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Description of the flag

The Bikini Atoll (and two near-by atolls) adopted in 1987 a flag to recall the American government's responsibility in the nuclear pollution and its obligations to the islanders.
Jaume Ollé, 25 September 1996


"The Flag of the People of Bikini"

The 23 white stars in the field of blue in the upper left hand corner of the flag represent the islands of Bikini Atoll.
The three black stars in the upper right of the flag represent the three islands that were vaporized by the March 1, 1954, 15 megaton hydrogen bomb blast, code named Bravo.
The two black stars in the lower right hand corner represent where the Bikinians live now, Kili Island, 425 miles to the south of Bikini Atoll, and Ejit Island of Majuro Atoll. These two stars are symbolically far away from Bikini's stars on the flag as the islands are in real life (both in distance and quality of life).
The Marshallese words running across the bottom of the flag, "MEN OTEMJEJ REJ ILO BEIN ANIJ" [Translation: "Everything is in the hands of God."], represent the words spoken in 1946 by the Bikinian leader, Juda, to U.S. Commodore Ben Wyatt when the American went to Bikini to ask the islanders -- on a Sunday after church -- to give up their islands for the 'good of all mankind' so that the U.S. could test nuclear weapons.
The close resemblance of the Bikinian's flag to the flag of the United States is to remind the people and the government of America that a great debt is still owed by them to the people of Bikini."

So, it looks like an US flag: the canton has 5x5 stars, the same size as the US', lacking the odd ones of the central column. In the 5th white stripe the text goes from hoist till about 1/6th off the fly, in blue bold capitals. At the fly of this stripe, two blue stars (same size) and at the fly of the first white stripe (but not so close to the edge as the others) three more blue stars. Probably both red and blue shades should be darker.
António Martins, 5 May 1998

The stars and letters should be black. The black color of the stars is quoted in the description and also was reported by Flag Bulletin.
Jaume Ollé, 6 May 1998

It seems that the peculiar (anti)US-shaped flag of the Bikini Atoll is official. During ceremony of the opening the Bikini Town Hall in Majuro (even the Marshallese president Kessai Note took part in celebration), three flags were raised: Marshallese, US, and this Bikinian. See
Jan Zrzavy, 3 September 2000